/CMSApp/TTV/media/Blog/TXlege/texas-state-capitol-2022-03-04-1110px.jpg?ext=.jpg /CMSApp/TTV/media/Blog/TXlege/texas-state-capitol-2022-03-04-1110px.jpg?ext=.jpg

Voucher bill likely dead as special session enters its final days

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Date Posted: 11/02/2023 | Author: Tricia Cave

Following the news that Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had expanded the special session call to include additional education issues, the House met briefly Wednesday, but did not take action to move Buckley’s voucher bill, House Bill (HB) 1, or the Senate’s voucher bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1, forward. 

Abbott expanded the call Tuesday, blaming Democrats for a lack of action on teacher pay and school finance. The governor announced on social media he had reached a deal with House Speaker Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont), a claim which has since been called into question, and that he believed the House had enough time to get the bill over the finish line. Abbott was so confident, in fact, that he stated Wednesday he didn’t think a fourth special session would be necessary and that the issues on the call would be resolved by the end of the current special session.  

House Public Education Committee Chairman Brad Buckley (R–Salado) said at a press conference Tuesday with handful of House Republicans that there would be a committee substitute for HB 1. That substitute was expected to be released Wednesday. After two days of failing to make quorum, the House finally had enough members present in the House chamber to do business Wednesday evening. The House was expected to receive the governor’s expanded call, read HB 1 on first reading, and refer it to committee. Instead, the House read the expanded call, then announced the body would be standing at ease until Monday or Tuesday pending action from the Senate on non-education related bills.    

Buckley then headed to a meeting with the governor’s staff, telling press gathered outside, "It's too tight for the House to be able to move something in this special. The House has rules, and we are up against the timeline.” Asked if the House would consider the Senate’s two education bills, Senate Bill (SB) 1 and SB 2, Buckley said, “No, we’ll have a House plan.”   

With the special session set to end no later than Nov. 8, it is now virtually impossible for a voucher bill to get over the finish line. This means that the bill is likely dead during the current special session. The question, for now, is whether Abbott will call a fourth special session and, if so, when. If he does, vouchers are almost guaranteed to be on the agenda once again, per the governor’s own statements.  



Danny Davis

Fund the schools.

Sandee Ratcliff

Stop the vouchers Abbott. Fund public school not the rich. You promised!

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